Great turmoil in Mei's feelings...

Suki-tte Ii na yo, Volume 5 - Kanae Hazuki

"Yamato: Mei... I don't want you to leave me...
Mei: I won't."

Kai is the new big hit in school. Despite his bad boy appearance, he managed to get really popular and girls are following him everywhere. Unlike Yamato, he doesn't enjoy all the attention and he runs and hides from those girls. Megumi sees the potential in Kai. In a way that he might be her ticket to get to Yamato so she pretends she loves Land and converses with Kai just to stay in the same company. So she is also invited to karaoke with the group as well as Kai. Mei never liked the karaoke so she often sneaks out to go to the restroom. This time she had company. Kai is also trying to get away from the spotlight and so they realize they are kindred spirits.

"Kai (to Mei): I know what you mean! I'm also not used to being around a lot of people. And I also don't like being looked at by people. Especially during karaoke. I feel like I'm being suffocated in such a small room full of people. And if I sing, everyone stares at me. And I feel like saying "I beg you, please don't look at me."
Mei: Here's someone who feels the same way I do..."

Their conversation lasts and they talk about their private lives as well. Since they both know Yamato very well, Mei feels confident enough to speak to Kai about her fears...

"Mei: Even now, I wonder why he picked me...
... Since the boyfriend is so popular, it's not unusual to think that his girlfriend should be pretty. I think I need to be someone more suitable for him."

"Kai (to Mei): I think that there are a lot of cute things about you, Mei...
... Well, to me, even if the girl doesn't have a nice body, just her reactions and words would turn me on..."

As Kai and Mei find a common language, Yamato gets really jealous. His jealousy will only escalate because he won't be able to put it into words properly. Day by day, Mei holds on to her promise to visit Asami during lunch breaks at school. One day they go to the roof to eat their bentos there and Kai joins them and hops in on their conversation which was accidentally about sex. Or the lack of it. Mei still holds her ground of no sex whatsoever while Asami complains about her boyfriend neglecting her. Megumi overhears their conversation. Later on, Megumi gives Kai Land tickets pretending to be a charming sweet girl. She is awfully surprised when Kai confronts her about her treachery. He saw right through her. How she pretended to like Land and how she pretended to listen to him during karaoke when she was staring at Yamato the whole time. Once she realizes Kai won't help her brake them apart, she goes to plan B. She tells Yamato how she overheard Mei and Kai talking on the rooftop about sex and how she just couldn't keep it in. And then Kai tells Yamato that he's fallen in love with Mei. Megumi starts to keep Asami and Aiko busy so they won't have any time for Mei. All of it combined brings about Mei's utter loneliness.

"It'll be okay - if it's Tachibana-san, right? She's not scared of anything, is she? She'll just return to how she used to be."


Mei keeps getting lonelier by the day and Yamato is still holding a grudge. He is having difficulty seeing Mei around other boys or to be more specific - Kai. But instead of him fighting for her or telling her about his jealousy, he shuts her out and makes her miserable. Once he said it to his best friend, he realized that Mei wasn't the guilty party here.

"Yamato: I just don't like it!! I can't stand the thought of another guy seeing her shy expression when her face turns all red or her gestures."

When Yamato has been avoiding Mei, Kai was there for her. He made her tell him what was bothering her and he listened through everything. He offered her his advice and his company. Even though he had stronger feelings for her he told her that she will always have a friend in him.

"Don't try to fix the problem by yourself, there are times where it's better to just tell someone about your situation and make yourself at ease. And once in a while, just try relying on someone else."

"Even if Mei loses various people, I will never let you be alone! I'll stake my life on it!! Didn't it make your heart feel stronger?! Don't be afraid, Mei, and just boldly go forward!"

It is beautiful to see how some relationships flourish as the story progresses. I really like Kai because he helped Mei on more accounts then one and he made Yamato realize that Mei is a girl, a desirable girl and that he should treat her better. Mei sees only a friend in Kai but she also offers him her advice and her help. Megumi is really starting to show her real two-sided, backstabbing, deceitful face and I hope everyone realize just how rotten her soul is. Yamato and Mei have a lot to work on and I hope it will work out for them.